blueollie

Allergies, colds and enforced humility

For the past couple of days, my eyes have watered, nose runny (TMI) and I have felt ..sort of yucky. But my workouts have been ok. Last night’s exercise class was fine (decent challenge actually) and today I did weights then my usual “short, sweet” 2 mile treadmill run where I run the first mile in about 11 minutes; second one in about 8:45 or so (my current 5K pace). I usually finish feeling refreshed and today was no exception.

So I thought: ok…not bad…then I remembered October, 2000:

OLLIE NANYES (M41) 3:38:12 91 85 / 18 M40-44 PEORIA, IL, USA (91 of 400)

That’s an 8:19 pace.

Yep, I was happy, though I was well aware that 90 people were faster, and that the winner was done BEFORE I got to mile 20. Since there was an “out and back” segment, I got to see some of the faster runners on their way back.

Nevertheless: I’d be delighted if I could average 8:19 for a 5K this year; I did that a couple of times last year. My last sub 25 was in 2014. That might well have been my final one, ever.

Well, F*CK ME DEAD. Ok, no…I still can run, workout, chase cute spandex (though cute, SLOW spandex..can’t catch the faster spandex anymore).

Workout notes: weights plus the aforementioned 2 mile run:

weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10).
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 190 (good)
incline press: 10 x 135
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
dumbbell military (standing) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
incline (Hammer Machine) 2 sets of 10 x 140 (70 each arm)
headstand (went ok)

Run: 10 minutes (2 at 5.2, up .1 mph every 2 minutes), 2:30: (6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7 for 1:30, 7.1 for final minute) 19:41 for 2 miles, 2.03 total.

Now to dig myself out under a whole pile of grading.

March 23, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Conversation Starter

This is from the Chief’s Instagram feed. Yeah, believe it or not, what I picked up on HAS started conversations (indirectly) and, in at least a case or two, lead to a friendship, one of which is still current (I think)! Weird, huh?

But this does remind me that Bradley’s home baseball schedule starts this weekend and the Chiefs aren’t that far behind.

Workout notes:

Morning: a bit later than normal. But weights went fine:
rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10, determined)
bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 10 x 170 (good)
incline press: 10 x 135 (reasonably strict)
military press: dumbbell: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, machine: 10 x 100 (each arm)
rows: 3 x 110 machine
goblet squats: warm up, sets of 5, 0, 25, 45, 45, 50, 60, 60, 60
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, head stand (up more quickly than usual).

Walk: Cornstalk classic 4 miler.

March 22, 2017 Posted by | big butts, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

A beautiful day for humility…

Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed today’s workout. But there was humility at every stage.

At the Riverplex: when I got there, there was a younger guy (early 30’s?) doing reps with 225 on the bench. He was working out with a bespandexed lady (wife? girlfriend?) whose butt was winning its war with the spandex.

Yeah, I did that when I was younger…actually much more but never mind. That isn’t now.

Then someone …middle aged?..a serious lifter entered. I think his arms were about the size of my lower thighs. I laughed and thought “I had better get out of here before he uses all of the 45 pound plates.”

Someone that Mamma T calls “shirtless Bob” was there; we talked and I noticed that he was running on the treadmill…I peeked at the pace…9 miles an hour (6:40 mpm). Yeah, he is a year or two older than I am.

We chatted; he ran a 5:44 mile last year. I last ran that fast..when I was 38. F*ck me dead!

So I went outside and then ran the 2.2 miles to the start of the Glenn Oak hill (same one that is on the first part of the Steamboat 15K course) and did 4 hill repeats (about .25 miles each, .25 miles back), and then ran the 2.2 miles back (roughly 10K to 6.4 miles total). Those just killed me; I tried to run them at a pace to get me way out of breath at the end and to make me heavy legged.

(logs at the bottom to the gate at the top).

I enjoyed it but…OMG…was I reminded at how badly I suck. 🙂

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10…went well), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 7 x 170
dumbbell military: 10 x 50 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 45 standing
Hammer Machine incline: 3 sets; 10 x 180, 8 x 200, 8 x 180. rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine.
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts. headstand: went really well with the wall for confidence (didn’t use it at all though)

March 19, 2017 Posted by | running, weight training | Leave a comment

Butts: less attention to hers, more attention to mine

Yeah, I’ve loved female butts for all of my post adolescent life. I still remember something from the 8’th grade, I believe. A female friend was sitting with me on the grass (she ran track and went on to be a Rams Cheerleader). She got up (in her tight jeans) and I teased her: “you’ve got grass all over your butt!” She said: “well, brush me off then…” and I about passed out. But I did my duty..and still remember it 44 years later.

I am open enough about it to teased about it by friends; from time to time my female friends send me joke memes about that.

But…all the while, I’ve neglected my own butt and the result is back pain, legs that get easily fatigued, etc. So I’ve been attempting to do something about it.

Today: I ran 6.07 miles in 1:05, doing a “5 minute froggy” for 50 minutes, then varying the speed after dropping back a bit, hitting 6 miles in 1:03:44. I was sweaty and out of breath and forced myself to do sets of 5 “goblet” squats:

0, 25, 45, 45, 50, 50, 60, 60. I made sure I “sat” below parallel then 10 x 270 on the leg press.

I was tempted to skip the final 2 sets with 60, but I saw the guy who won my AG in the trail half marathon (1:59, to my 3:02) and decided to finish all of them.

My back does feel better…we will see if this eventually translates into a better 5K run.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | butt, political humor, political/social, running, weight training | Leave a comment

NIT “fever”: Illinois and Illinois State games

It is my spring break and so I took advantage to catch a couple of NIT games.

The first one was Illinois vs. Valparaiso in Champaign.

Ticket demand was low, so I was able to get “club sets” right at midcourt. Only 4700 people (or so) showed up (capacity: 16,000) but those that did were boisterous. And more importantly, the Illini showed up and won 82-57 in a a game that was even more lopsided than the score might indicate (and the final spread was 25!) Valpo was without their best player, who had a broken foot.

People wondered if the Illini would have any competitive fire as they were drummed out of the Big Ten tournament and their coach was fired. But they played well and dominated from start to finish. They hit the 3, dominated inside, etc.

The arena (State Farm Center) looks eerie from the outside:

We had club seats, which gave me access to a “10 dollars for a large meatball sub, with potato wedges, salad and dessert” (which I did not have). But it was a nice meal for an arena.

We had great midcourt seats.

And my long suffering spouse seemed to enjoy it.

Overall, it was as nice as the NBA arena we went to (at least as far as watching the game).

And the tickets were all of 22 dollars (plus some fees, which put the price to 28).

BUT, yes, there were empty seats…a LOT of them as you can see.


Yes, it was disappointment, plus the coach being fired, plus…a 6 pm start due to TV.

Next day: Illinois State vs. California-Irvine, 8:30 pm start.

Once again, you had a disappointed team as Illinois State felt that they deserved an NCAA bid (and I did too). But they had a nice match up vs. the California-Irvine Anteaters. This pitted the Missouri Valley Champions versus the Big West Champions.

And while ISU won 85-71, the game was only a 6 point game with 11 minutes to go. It was much more competitive than the previous game.

In a nutshell: great outside shooting forced the Anteaters away from their “large” lineup (they had a 7′ 2″ center and a 6′ 10″ forward). That opened up the inside for repeated “Alley-Oop” dunks; I counted about a half-dozen of those or so. Hot outside shooting by the Cal-Irvine guards kept them in the game, but it wasn’t enough.

My seat (just me this time) was at the top of the lower bowl: not as fancy as the Illinois arena but still a very, very nice place to watch a basketball game.

Though the lower bowl was well filled, there were still quite a few empties in the upper bowl. They drew 5100 fans in the 10,200 capacity arena. The 8:30 pm start didn’t help.

Commentary

Yes, low attendance was due to the NIT being a “second rate” tournament to begin with (by definition); a consolation prize for those teams left out of the NCAA. And yes, you did have one coach being fired.
BUT, look at the start times: “barely enough time to make it from work” in one case (6 pm…LOTS of old people) and 8:30..kind of late for those who work the next day (again, LOTS of old people).

Why? The fact is that, while more people in the arena is nice, say, even 4000 more people at a marginal profit of, say, 10 dollars a ticket (upper bowl prices) is 40,000 dollars extra, which is peanuts compared to what television pays out.

The money is in television. Hence the next round of games for me is….MONDAY NIGHT…Illinois State at 6, Illinois at 8. Needless to say, I had to choose..and I got a group of 4 to go to the Illinois State game. They wouldn’t play on the weekend because that is when the NCAA games are…television.

Back in the days when television wasn’t the driving factor (many NIT games weren’t televised), start times were more convenient for the fans; the NCAA on TV wouldn’t be much of a factor in scheduling.

So…expect to see more empty seats as in this day and age, “in person” fans are really a “nice to have” afterthought. TV pays the bills.

Fortunately, I can move office hours (to a more popular time) and make at least one of the games; most people do not have that luxury.

And who knows; maybe next year my team will be in postseason of some sort? Making the CIT or CBI would be a decent goal, and I enjoy the last time I went to those games.

Workout notes
3 mile walk outside (too pleasant not to) and weights: rotator cuff,
pull ups (5 sets of 10, much better)
bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185 (good), 8 x 170
military press: 10 x 50 standing dumbbell, 10 x 45 standing dumbbell, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
incline press: Hammer, 10 x 160 (80 each arm), 8 x 160, 10 x 140

Weight: 197.2 before (199.8 with shoes, shorts, shirt)

March 16, 2017 Posted by | basketball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Pitts: What if we just don’t like each other…

Today’s article by Leonard Pitts starts off as follows:

So this driver is stopped at an intersection. A pedestrian is dawdling in the crosswalk. Driver leans out the window and yells, “Get out of the street, you damned liberal!”

It’s been years since I read that in a magazine. I can’t remember if it was a true story, though I think it was. But even if only apocryphal, the picture it paints of American acrimony in the post-millennial years is true beyond mere facts.

As such, it leaves me questioning the likely impact of two recent well-intentioned pleas for ideological outreach. Joan Blades, co-founder of the liberal activist group Moveon.org, wrote an essay for The Christian Science Monitor, asking progressives to stretch beyond their left-wing comfort zones and “love thy neighbor.” And New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof warned the left against a tendency to “otherize” Donald Trump voters.

I’ve got no real argument with Kristof or Blades. It’s a noble gesture they’re making. It occurs to me, though, that none of this addresses a question that has come to seem obvious:

What if the problem is simply that we just don’t like each other?

As I’ve said often, our acrimony is not political. It’s not about tax rates, government regulation or even abortion rights. No, this is elemental. This is about the city versus the country, higher education versus a mistrust thereof, Christian fundamentalism versus secular humanism. And it is about social change versus status quo.

I recommend reading the rest.

That got me to thinking about some things I’ve seen and read.

1. Some time ago, a friend (fellow liberal) posted a photo of an old-to-middle-aged white guy with a restored antique 3-wheel vehicle …and talked about him being “a douche” though her only contact with him was, well that photo. Later I asked my wife if she had seen the photo….and she replied “of the creepy guy”?

2. I thought about my own reaction when I saw some elderly (ok, not THAT much older than I) men with a Trump hat or a Trump shirt. Yes, I felt a snarling contempt. I noted that I was in much, much better condition than they were…then I recalled I know some Trump voters who are my age (or slightly older) who can run and walk circles around me; in one case, his 100 mile walk pace would be a decent marathon walk pace for me.

But, yeah, I am as tribal as anyone else, though my “tribe” really isn’t purely political.

I have Republican friends, and by that I mean there are Republicans that I happily socialize with; one is a frequent, welcome dinner companion. I look forward to spending time with her.

BUT: she is secular, pro-gay rights, pro-choice, pro-science and very knowledgeable. She believes in public investment and knows that there is a time for a government to spend and at time for austerity (“basic macro”, she says). We have some disagreements on the degree to which businesses should be regulated and taxed. But we agree on quite a bit, especially on social values. Ok, ok, we disagree on some things too. 🙂

Then I think: what about the baseball and football games I attend? Almost every single time, I end up in a conversation with a fan about the game; I always enjoy these. And I can assure you, statistically speaking, at least some (most?) of those said fans vote differently than I do. But for the purposes of the game, we are in the same “tribe” (football or baseball fans)

I don’t know; maybe public events are a good way to bring different kinds of people together? After all, there really isn’t a black/white/conservative/liberal way to discuss the action in a football game.

Same thing with running races: I KNOW that many of my running/walking friends have different politics than I do. But our experiences..our way of encouraging each other to bring out the best in each other really isn’t partisan.

Workout notes
weights then a 4 mile walk (28:00 first 2, 26:41 second 2: 54:41 for 4).

Weights: rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10…very careful in the “recovery” motion to protect my arm.
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 8 x 170 (very conservative)
incline press: 10 x 135
military presses: standing, 10 x 50 dumbbell, 6 x 50 standing dumbbell, 10 x 45
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
squats: lots of free squats, then 3 x 5 with 45, 2 x 50 goblet, 2 x 60 goblet
leg presses: 10 x 250
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts
headstand: ok, but was distracted getting into it.

March 14, 2017 Posted by | Friends, political/social, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Ego gets me in trouble…

Workout notes: low energy weights, easy 4 mile walk outside.

Weights: rotator cuff
pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 2 sets of 5 (low energy)
a few light squats
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 185 (it was not going to happen)
dumbbell bench press: 10 x 70, 10 x 75, 8 x 80; hurt my right arm lowering them. I felt a “pop” and a “tug”..too heavy for me today
dumbbell military :3 sets of 10 x 45, got ’em all with no problems.
machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 140 (70 each arm)

my right arm hurts a bit and it stiffens quickly. We’ll see; I could still do pull ups.

March 12, 2017 Posted by | injury, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

The shallow level of discussion about poverty in the US

Articles like this one drive me nuts. Yes, it is statistically accurate in that if someone is born into grinding poverty, they are likely to stay there, even if they behave reasonably.

What it overlooks is that many do NOT behave reasonably, as this liberal friendly article admits:

Edin sees in these obstacles to full-time fatherhood a partial explanation for what’s known as “multiple-partner fertility.” Among low-income, unwed parents, having children with more than one partner is now the norm. One long-running study found that in nearly 60 percent of the unwed couples who had a baby, at least one parent already had a child with another partner.

That is pathological and irresponsible, no matter how one spins it. But try getting a liberal to admit that…OMG.

Now, of course, there are also these aspects:

1. Which came first: pathological behavior or poverty; which caused which? There is strong evidence that poverty is the CAUSE of such behavior and not really the result of it. (slso here)

2. While I agree that poor people can make themselves even poorer via poor choices, it does not follow that good choices will lead one OUT of poverty.

I’ll use a sports analogy. Those in my age group who run the fastest times and win the most awards train more than I do. And were I to quit lifting weights so much and to run more, I might improve…but only so much. I might, might, get into the 24s..maybe 23’s with super training. But I can forget getting anywhere the winner’s circle in my age group; guys who do that were generally “college track team” quality in their youth (or the equivalent).

So good behavior will only move the needle so much; only rarely is it enough for someone to escape.

But yet discussion of these issues often causes he heartburn.

Here is what I think is going on: I have people who went to the same schools as I did and had parents who were of the same economic class as my parents. They had the opportunity to apply to the same colleges as I did. I had no special influence as to getting into my undergraduate college, and no “pull” in getting into graduate school. Then years down the line…guess who is said to have been “lucky”???

While one can make statistical inferences about how a general population will do, there is variation between individuals of the same group. Yes, my parents did right by me…more so ..and I was lucky enough to avoid horrible things (abuse, diseases, accidents, etc.) None of that was due to any merit on my part; I admit that.

Anyhow, I DO see quite a bit of “excuse making” by people that I know made bad choices that hindered them down the road. But …that is at the individual level..not a statistical average.

Still, I struggle to accept a life experience that was so different than my own..especially when initial circumstances seem to be so similar.

I suppose that some truths are simply counter intuitive to me.

Workout notes: weights plus my 2 mile treadmill run: 5.2-5.6 for the first 10 minutes, then 6.7-7.0 (every 2:30, 1 minute at 7.1). 11 minutes for mile 1, 19:40 for mile 2.
Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10: decent), incline press: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, 10 x 135 (strict, planted those hips), military (dumbbell), 10 x 50, 2 sets of 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. abs: 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, head stand…not that bad this time.

March 10, 2017 Posted by | poverty, running, social/political, weight training | Leave a comment

Extra strength today?

I don’t know what is up; I felt stronger in the weight room today:

rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10)
bench presses 10 x 135, 6 x 185 (good), 10 x 170
military presses: 10 x 50 standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported (dumbbell), 10 x 45 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
incline presses (Hammer Machine) 3 sets of 10 x 160 (80 each arm)
a LOT of squats: 2 sets of 5 with no weight, 5 x 30, then at least 6 sets (probably more) with 45-50 (goblet)
2 sets of 10 x 250 leg presses
abs (2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts)
headstand (ok today)

Then an easy 4 mile walk outside (Cornstalk classic)

Some days are just better than others, and today it went well. More sleep?

March 7, 2017 Posted by | walking, weight training | Leave a comment

A slap in the face…

Well, this was my first race since Thanksgiving of last year and it showed.

It was blustery but 40’s…really not a bad running day. It was a student crowd (a few faculty; one was to pass me in the final mile). I took a 1 mile indoor warm up and perhaps 1/3 of a mile outside.

I went out at what seemed to be a reasonable pace and oh man, I felt it early. Mile 1: (so they said) 9:15???? Oh-s**t. I didn’t think that I was going THAT slowly; the second mile came at 17:25 which appeared to be more reasonable. But by then I was hurting and talking myself out of walking. There is where I got passed. The last mile (this time around the campus circle) was a slog. I saw the clock at 27:0x when I made the run and even a small burst could not get me under 28…28:09 was my final time. And yes..I was tired and out of breath.

That is my current shape. OMG….

I walked 2 miles to get to 6.

Then weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 9 x 170, military: dumbbell: 10 x 50 standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 180 (90 each arm) machine. row: 3 sets of 10 x 110, incline: 10 x 160 (80 each arm) Hammer machine.

That was fine..though I had a hard time catching my breath between sets.

So there you go: reasonably strong in the weight room (by my standards) but just awful at running. And yes, I walked an easy 4 yesterday so I wasn’t tired.

I need to do some steady state 8 milers to get ready to race these.

March 4, 2017 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment